Caridina caerulea Update!

Updated the Blue Morphe page!

Currently keeping.


Blue Leg shrimp, Caridina ensifera ‘Blue’, Blue Poso shrimp

Scientific name:

Caridina caerulea


The species name caerulea (“blue”) is derived from Latin caeruleus, which means ‘blue’. This refers to its colouration.

The former species name ensifera (“sword-wielder”) is derived from Latin ensis and ferre, which mean ‘sword’ and ‘to carry’ respectively. This refers to the elongated rostrum of the species.


25 – 30 mm

My water parameters:

pH 7,5
KH 3
dGH 7
TDS 220 ppm
29 ºC


C. caerulea is a understated and beautiful species. Although they may appear dull in appearance next to the many striking species from Sulawesi, a closer look shows it too has strong colours. Its rostrum, pereiopods and uropods have a blue colouration, whereas its antennae and antennules are a vibrant red. C. caerulea also has a habit of changing its body colour, ranging from steel blue to pink-orange.


Unlike most Sulawesi shrimp, C. caerulea is not a timid species. It will not retreat when the tank is approached.


Compared to most Sulawesi shrimp, this is a forgiving species, which I highly recommend to those considering trying Sulawesi shrimp. I find it will adapt to and breed in a wide range of alkaline conditions unlike most Sulawesi species. However, it is unlikely the delicate shrimplets will survive unless provided the optimum parameters.


Caridina caerulea is a wild lacustrine species endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is found exclusively in Lake Poso.


Sexing Caridina caerulea is generally quite easy. The most obvious sign in adult shrimp is the obvious green/blue saddle present in the female shrimp. Female shrimp also often have a deeper and more curved ‘underbelly’ for carrying eggs in.


Caridina caerulea has no larval stage; juveniles are born assuming a benthic lifestyle. Reproduction takes place entirely in freshwater. The eggs take about 18-20 days to hatch. Breeding this shrimp is not the difficult part. The difficult part is raising the offspring. In the optimum conditions, this can be achieved with very little effort. In less perfect conditions, the juveniles will literally vanish. I assume they have difficulty shedding their exoskeletons, resulting in death. The juveniles are also often physically fragile; as the water in their natural environment is still they are not used to enduring currents. Do not use filters that create strong currents!

Juveniles will graze on microorganisms and algae in the aquarium. They tend to enjoy grazing on the aquarium glass where algae thrive.


This species was originally known as C. ensifera var. ‘Blue Morphe‘. This is due to the fact Lake Poso is occupied by another similar species which has brown-red colouration on its body rather than red. This was believed to be an example of polymorphism, and that they were in fact the same species, just different morphs. It has since been discovered that they are distinct species. At the time, the other species was known as C. ensifera var. ‘Red Morphe’, and is now officially described as C. ensifera.

Image by Frank and Carsten Logemann.


3 Responses to Caridina caerulea Update!

    • Jared says:

      I have, but not as a permanent colour. This species changes its body colour often for no apparent reason. However, my shrimp seemed to darken in colour when berried. Is this shrimp permanently that colour?

      Also, I’m having trouble with evaporation in my aquaria in the heat wave. How do you deal with this problem? I’ve never had it before in the UK!

      • imke says:

        #1: I do not know if the shrimp is permanently colored like this.
        #2: Myself, I use glass coverages which minimizes evaporation but minimizes cooling the tank by it also. I would simply refill evaporated water. In hot summers, I do not use lightning, which can also raise water temperature. A lot lot keepers use aquarium or PC fans.

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